Ofwat opens up consultation period on new project plans

Suzie Neuwirth
WATER regulator Ofwat yesterday published its draft forward work programme for 2014-15, inviting responses before the consultation period ends on 11 February.

The document outlines the regulator’s core projects planned until 2016. It will use the responses it receives during the consultation period to finalise its plans for the year ahead and will publish a final programme by 31 March.

Planned work includes delivering the 2014 price review, where Ofwat will set water companies’ price limits for the five years between 2015 and 2020.

A number of water companies have already vowed to increase water bills by less than inflation over the period when they submitted their business plans last month.

There has been growing pressure on utility companies to keep customers’ bills down as the political debate into cost of living rages on.

Ofwat will also challenge companies to improve customer service and will prepare for the changes to the sector proposed by the government’s water bill.

This includes contributing to work necessary to allow businesses to choose their water supplier from April 2017. Households will still not be able to change their supplier.